Within the tumor-stromal microenvironment a disrupted balance between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors compromises the integrity of the extracellular matrix and promotes malignancy. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) have been linked to tumor suppression in studies of genetically altered tissue culture cells and in analyses of clinical specimens in situ. We generated transgenic mice as a model system to test the relationship between TIMP-1 levels in a host organ and susceptibility to experimentally targeted metastasis. Ectopically overexpressed TIMP-1 in the brain resulted in a tissue microenvironment with elevated protein levels of this natural MMP inhibitor. Metastatic challenge provided by lacZ-tagged fibrosarcoma cells permitted high-resolution analysis of metastatic load and pattern. We found that elevated host TIMP-1 imposed resistance to experimental metastasis of fibrosarcoma: In TIMP-1 overexpressing mice, brain metastases were significantly reduced by 75% compared to wild-type littermates. Our findings demonstrate that ectopic TIMP-1 expression efficiently exerts a suppressive effect on metastasizing tumor cells.